Monday, March 3, 2014

How-To Writing

Last week, we kicked off our non-fiction writing unit, and we have been having a blast!  First, we began with a video clip from Brain Pop Jr called "How-to Essays."  Next we discussed what we saw and talked about the importance of following directions and being able to read directions.  I always show real-world examples for the kids to make it more meaningful.  Next, I made a list of things that I know how to do.  The kids were given an organizer to write about what they can do.  We talked aloud about ideas prior to me sending back to write them on their lists.

On day two, we did a tasty writing activity: "How to Make a Dirt Cup Snack."  For this, you need: pudding or pudding cups {chocolate}, gummy worms, plastic cups, spoons, and Oreo cookies.  I was able to find a big box of Snack Packs at Costco for $8.00.

We wrote up our directions first {this takes a lot of prompting/questioning} and then used our directions to make our snack right before lunch!  The kids loved making the snack and it helped give them a clear understanding of the type of writing to come in our unit.

On days 3-4, I modeled writing my own How-to piece, first selecting an idea from my graphic organizer.  I always like to do mine on large chart paper so the kids can really see it.  I keep them and when they have free time, the kids love to go back and re-read them with pointers!  We also did some cut/paste worksheets together on these days {from Teacher's Helper Magazine}.  By Friday, the kids were ready to be put into groups and given "How-to cards" to work together on.  Basically, I grouped my kids {4 or so to a group} and was sure to include a high reader/writer.  I gave each group a card with a topic.  They had to work together to decide on the steps and raise their hands when ready.  I listened to them say their steps {each person got to say one step}.  Once they repeated it several times, I gave them their papers and they were ready to write.  I asked each student to write the directions down, to familiarize them with the style of "how-to" writing.  **IF you purchased my non-fiction unit over the past few years, be sure to re-download to get the "how-to cards!!"

Like my creating how-to piece?  LOL! 

If you'd like to check out my non-fiction writing unit, which includes "How-to" and "All About" writing, click the pic below!  It's as sure hit in any K-2 classroom!

Happy Monday!


Cindy Calenti said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I want to be in your class!!! Dirt Cup Snacks looks like so much fun and yummy to boot!

Granny Goes to School

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